Imperial Theatre, (10/22/1987 - 2/07/1988)
Minskoff Theatre, (2/09/1988 - 6/04/1988)

First Preview: Oct 07, 1987
Opening Date: Oct 22, 1987
Closing Date: Jun 04, 1988
Total Previews: 18
Total Performances: 261

Category: Musical, Drama, Revival, Broadway
Setting: Berlin, Germany. 1929-30. Before the start of the Third Reich.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Bernard B. Jacobs: President)

Produced by Barry & Fran Weissler; Produced in association with Phil Witt; Associate Producer: Alecia Parker

Book by Joe Masteroff; Music by John Kander; Lyrics by Fred Ebb; Based on the play by John Van Druten; Based on stories by Christopher Isherwood; Music orchestrated by Don Walker; Additional orchestrations by Michael Gibson; Original Dance Arrangements: David Baker; Dance arrangements by Ronald Melrose; Musical Director: Donald Chan

Directed by Harold Prince; Dance and Cabaret Numbers Staged by Ron Field; Assistant to Ron Field: Bonnie Walker; Assistant Director: Ruth Mitchell

Scenic Design by David Chapman; Costume Design by Patricia Zipprodt; Lighting Design by Marc B. Weiss; Sound Design by Otts Munderloh; Based on Original Set Design by Boris Aronson; Hair Design by Phyllis Della Illien; Associate Scenic Design: Mark Haack

General Manager: Kevmar Productions, Inc.; Company Manager: Robert H. Wallner; Associate Co. Mgr: Robert Nolan

Technical Supervisor: Theatrical Services, Inc.; Production Stage Manager: Scott Faris; Stage Manager: Robert Kellogg

Musical Supervisor: Don Pippin; Musical Coordinator: John Monaco; Associate Conductor: Fred Barton; Keyboards: Fred Barton; Trumpets: Jim Sedlar and Dave Rogers; Trombones: Porter Poindexter and Jim Miller; French Horn: Richard Price; Woodwinds: Al Bloch, Samson Giat, Ken Adams, Ken Berger and Robert Keller; Drums: John Gates; Bass: Ray Kilday; Concert Master: Elliot Rosoff; Violins: Kathy Livolsi, Elene Dumitrescu, Al Cavaliere and Max Tarr; Violas: Susan Follari and Richard Spencer; Celli: Ellen Hassmen and Marisol Estada; Banjo: Vin Bell; Tenor Saxophone in Girl Orchestra: Sheila Cooper; Drums in Girl Orchestra: Barbara Merjan; Trombone in Girl Orchestra: Panchali Null; Piano in Girl Orchestra: Eve Potfora; Music Copyist: Chelsea Music and Mathilde Pincus

General Press Representative: The Fred Nathan Company, Inc.; Advertising: Serino, Coyne & Nappi; Dance Captain: Bonnie Walker; Photographer: Bob Marshak

[See More]

Opening Night Cast

Joel GreyThe Emcee
Alyson ReedSally Bowles
Gregg EdelmanClifford Bradshaw
Werner KlempererHerr Schultz
Nora Mae LyngFraulein Kost
Regina ResnikFraulein Schneider
David StallerErnst Ludwig
Stan ChandlerFirst Waiter
Sheila CooperGirl Orchestra
Laurie CrochetKit Kat Girl
Bill DerifieldEnsemble
Mark DoveyKissing Couple (man)
German Sailor
Noreen EvansKit Kat Girl
Karen FractionEnsemble
Laurie FranksEnsemble
Ruth GottschallTelephone Girl
One of "Two Ladies"
Caitlin LarsenKit Kat Girl
Sharon LawrenceOne of "Two Ladies"
Kissing Couple (woman)
Kit Kat Girl
Barbara MerjanGirl Orchestra
Mary MungerEnsemble
Panchali NullGirl Orchestra
Eve PotforaGirl Orchestra
Steve PotforaEnsemble
Lars RosagerVictor
Kit Kat Boy
Mary RotellaKit Kat Girl
Gregory SchanuelGerman Sailor
Michelan SistiBobby
Kit Kat Boy
Jon VandertholenMax
David VosburghCustoms Officer
Maitre D'
Jim WolfeGerman Sailor

Swings: Candy Cook and Aurelio Padron

Understudies: Laurie Franks (Fraulein Schneider), Caitlin Larsen (Fraulein Kost), Mary Munger (Sally Bowles), Michelan Sisti (The Emcee), Jon Vandertholen (Clifford Bradshaw, Ernst Ludwig) and David Vosburgh (Herr Schultz)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 1988 Best Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Werner Klemperer

 1988 Best Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Alyson Reed

 1988 Best Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Regina Resnik

 1988 Best Revival [nominee] 

Produced by Barry & Fran Weissler

Drama Desk Award

 1988 Outstanding Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Joel Grey

 1988 Outstanding Revival [nominee] 

Produced by Barry & Fran Weissler; Produced in association with Phil Witt


music by John Kander; lyrics by Fred Ebb

ACT 1 Sung By
WillkommenThe Emcee and Company
So What?Fraulein Schneider
Don't Tell MamaGirls and Sally Bowles
Telephone SongThe Company
Perfectly MarvelousSally Bowles and Clifford Bradshaw
Two LadiesThe Emcee and Two Ladies
It Couldn't Please Me MoreFraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz
Tomorrow Belongs to MeThe Emcee, First Waiter and Waiters
Don't GoClifford Bradshaw
The Money SongThe Emcee, Girls and Fat Bankers
MarriedFraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz
Tomorrow Belongs to Me (Reprise) Fraulein Kost, Ernst Ludwig and Guests
ACT 2 Sung By
Entr'acteGirl Orchestra
If You Could See HerKit Kat Girls
Married (Reprise) Herr Schultz
If You Could See Her (Reprise) The Emcee and Bobby (Kit Kat Boy)
What Would You Do?Fraulein Schneider
I Don't Care MuchThe Emcee
CabaretSally Bowles
FinaleClifford Bradshaw, Sally Bowles, Fraulein Schneider, Herr Schultz, The Emcee and Company


New York Daily News: "Rootin' Teuton"

All during "Cabaret" I kept pinching myself. I was sure I must be dreaming. I imagined it was still 1967 and the American musical theater was still alive!

Here, after all, was Joel Grey, his clown white, pixie-featured face seeming no older than it did 20 years ago, his body still slithery and eerie. Here was a score slightly revised but far more powerful, and, most incredible, a book that is economical and absolutely solid.

Here I was having a fabulous evening when I had long ago persuaded myself that work of this caliber was no longer possible on Broadway. What had gone wrong?

Could it be that Harold Prince, most of whose recent work I have deplored, had recovered his perspective? "Cabaret," which was one of the first shows he directed, was in many ways Broadway's first foray into The Sixties.

It was a show about how politics affects a whole society (even its apolitical citizens). It was also a show about sexual ambiguity. In a society breaking down, the two things are related.

The fluid structure of the show, in which scenes in a sleazy cabaret reflect crises in the city outside (Berlin in 1930), remains impressive. The direction and performance have great sharpness. So does Ron Field's choreography, which captures the troubling mood sardonically.

The cast is sensational. Alyson Reed and Gregg Edelman are much more persuasive as two young Anglo-Saxons lost in this Teutonic "wonderland" than their counterparts 20 years ago. Edelman has a great new song, which he sings elegantly. When Reed launches into the title song, which, in context, is one of dark irony, the effect is devastating.

Regina Resnik, a class act in every way, gives a dignity and grace to the role of the hapless landlady that makes her plight much more poignant. Werner Klemperer is similarly refined, stressing the German rather than the Jew in his character, and important, deeply moving choice.

There are standout performances by David Staller, a chillingly appealing Nazi, and Nora Mae Lyng as a patriotic floozy.

Grey, of course, is triumphant. It is a performance concocted out of the lowest low comedy shtick, a vision of Satan having a go at vaudeville. When, at the very end, he appears alone on stage, the tacky trappings of hell having disappeared, the effect is hair-raising.

Prince has recreated a brilliant show brilliantly.

New York Daily News

New York Post: "Grey eclipses"

Times change and people change. When the John Kander and Fred Ebb musical "Cabaret" was new in town 21 years ago, I felt, in the words of one of its own lyrics: "So What?"

Yes, even then, I thrilled and chilled to the demon-slick image, all raspberries and cold cream, of Joel Grey's fantasticated devil's puppet of a nightclub emcee, a performance clearly blasting out its own instant legend.

But the rest seemed to me at the time to be a cheapened, Broadway-packaged version of such 20th-century originals as Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht, Christopher Isherwood, George Grosz and even Lotte Lenya - who happened to be in the show's original cast.

Twenty-one years later. And either I have matured - at times I can be as slow as cognac - or the Broadway musical has so eroded, deteriorated and self-destructed that what was "So What?" in 1966 seems, in relation to the flatness of the surrounding countryside, "So Good!" in 1987.

Of course, even then, except for one case of kamikaze-style miscasting in the central role of that green-finger-tipped prairie oyster Sally Bowles, the musical was superbly done.

Quite a few of the people then superbly doing it are here the second time around, notably director Harold Prince, choreographer Ron Field and the show's star, Joel Grey.

The scenic designer Boris Aronson is no longer alive, but his designs, tactfully adapted, have been preserved in spirit by David Chapman; and Patricia Zipprodt has effectively tarted-up, as it were, her own original costumes.

The secret of doing any show the second time is either to do it completely differently - this is the sensible path to success - or, as here, to enhance it in tone and coloration to offset the always dulling comparison with memory's impossible brilliance.

Never leave well enough alone, because well will never be good enough on the return trip. This must be the motto that Prince, Field and Grey adopted for this new "Cabaret" act.

The Joe Masteroff book, based on the John Van Druten Broadway hit "I Am A Camera" that, in turn, was taken from Isherwood's "Berlin Stories," has now been changed slightly, more in accordance with the Jay Presson Allen and Hugh Wheeler screenplay adopted for Bob Fosse's movie version of "Cabaret."

The time is still 1929 (it was 1931 in the movie) and Cliff Bradshaw is still a young American writer coming to Berlin for experience, meeting the crazily voluptuous Sally Bowles and getting caught up with the rising tide of Hitler's New German Reich, with its anti-Semitism and violence.

But Prince now takes the slightly harsher tone that the movie (six years, note, after Broadway) adopted. Thus Cliff is now accepted as a bisexual - with no very strong heterosexual bent - and the Nazis' anti-Semitism is more pointed, particularly in the savage punchline of Grey's duet with a gorilla, as in the movie but earlier omitted on Broadway.

Other changes have come through the casting - the Sally, as given by Alyson Reed, is a much tougher little English cookie than that originally suggested by the miscast Jill Hayworth, and Werner Klemperer as the Jewish greengrocer, unknowingly on the brink of extinction, brings a more serious dignity, and less ironic pathos, to the role than did earlier the adorable Jack Gilford.

The structural fault of the show - as before glossed over by Prince's imagination and Aronson's invention - also remains, whereby the idea of "life being a cabaret, old chum" involves the story consistently being interrupted by numbers of relevant comic decadence but little brilliance.

There have been changes. Gilford's Jewish patter song, "Meeskite," has, inevitably perhaps, gone with Gilford. There is also a new duet, "It Couldn't Please Me More," and a rather strange ballad for Bradshaw, exhorting Sally: "Don't Go."

But generally the Kander and Ebb score still sounds derivative but chirpy. Even the title song, to me at least, seems to carry echoes of "Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey?" and much of Kander's music, with the original orchestrations of Don Walker and the additional orchestrations of Michael (recent hero of "Anything Goes") Gibson, seems to have been subject to Weillification.

Personally I prefer something like "Happy End" to this pastiche, just as I prefer neat Isherwood to the dilutions of Van Druten and Masteroff.

All the same, "Cabaret" nowadays can seem pretty good compared with "Late Nite Comic" - Prince does a king-size job, and the present cast has its own qualities.

Reed, as Sally, sings strongly and acts with a convincing accent and rough charm - although she does not begin to suggest the radiant vulnerability of Liza Minnelli in the movie - while Gregg Edelman, looking like the young W.H. Auden, is quite marvelous as Bradshaw.

One misses, however, the authentic original wonders of Lenya and Gilford. Regina Resnik was more at home as Verdi's Mistress Quickly than here in the Lenya role of the landlady, and Klemperer is a somewhat dry stick as her greengrocer suitor.

Yet the real reason behind the revival is - oddly enough - the coruscating, almost uncomfortably demanding presence of Joel Grey.

I say oddly enough because in 1966 Grey was billed merely a supporting actor in the show - but he burst through like a rocket, becoming its shooting star and later dominated the movie.

Every actor returning to a role assures his public that he has found deeper layers in it to explore - I'm sure James O'Neill did just this with "The Count of Monte Cristo" - but in this instance it seems absolutely true. Grey is at least twice as good now as he was then.

When he started in "Cabaret," underneath all that blase bitterness was a kid striving to get out and become a Broadway legend. No longer.

The rictus grin hides no hunger, the puppet gesture of jaunty despair is just that, and the viciousness is without hope. Grey was always better than the show, and he still is.

He is never going to stop his role from being peripheral to the story, but more than ever he is central to the theme, giving it the backbone the show needs. For it is his character, which owes essentially nothing to Isherwood and his world, which gives the show its value.

New York Post

Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Imperial Theatre

(10/22/1987 - 2/7/1988)


Peg Murray
During Regina Resnik's vacation
Fraulein Schneider

Minskoff Theatre

(2/9/1988 - 6/4/1988)

Production Stage Manager: Beverley Randolph.

Guitar: Vinnie Bell.


John Clonts
Mary Munger
Sally Bowles (Apr 1988 - Jun 1988)
Jan Mussetter
Kit Kat Girl

Swing: Linda Goodrich.

Understudy: Sharon Lawrence (Fraulein Kost).

View full site